Maria Sakkari, Caroline Garcia shut down Elena Rybakina's claim

Sakkari and Garcia address Rybakina's claims regarding the performance bye rule.

by Dzevad Mesic
Maria Sakkari, Caroline Garcia shut down Elena Rybakina's claim
© Getty Images Sport - Hector Vivas

Maria Sakkari and Caroline Garcia have dismissed Elena Rybakina's claim that players were unaware of the performance bye rule being used for this part of the season. After Rybakina missed out on a top-4 seeding in Tokyo, she called out the WTA. "Thank you for changing the rules [at the] last moment.

Great decisions as always @wta," Rybakina wrote on her Instagram Story over the weekend. Sakkari, who won Guadalajara last week and received the third-seeding in Tokyo, refuted that claim. "This is not a new rule, I think it has been in place for about 14 years, and that's actually the case.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this rule was temporarily removed. However, in the past, this performance bye was also used in Beijing. We have already been aware of the fact that there will be a performance bye since the tournament will be held from Mexico to Tokyo for about 5 months.

I was informed that performance byes are also applied when traveling from Tokyo to Beijing," Sakkari said.

Sakkari, Garcia dismiss Rybakina's claim

Garcia, who was beaten by Sakkari in the Guadalajara semifinal, also benefited from the performance bye rule and received the fourth-seeding in Tokyo.

"It's a really long journey from Mexico to Japan, and considering the time difference, you'll lose two days. I think this rule is necessary because we have to continue playing under such circumstances. In the past, it was also adopted in Beijing and Wuhan.

We knew in advance that there would be a performance bye at this tournament. We were informed of this, and I think this is important in order to maintain our rhythm," Garcia said. After calling out the WTA, Rybakina pulled out of Tokyo on Monday.

In a statement released, Rybakina said she was "prioritizing my health and fitness." Later, Rybakina on her Instagram Story clarified that her Tokyo withdrawal had nothing to do with her frustration with the WTA.

Maria Sakkari Caroline Garcia Elena Rybakina